Plymouth was badly bombed in the Second World War and the rebuilding left much to be desired. However the city has a modern shopping centre, which has been much improved recently. In addition many of the old buildings near the docks are now being restored. It is a university city with plenty of entertainment centres including theatres and cinemas. The Devonport Dockyards support Royal Naval vessels and plenty of sailors can be seen around town (if you like that sort of thing!).
The Barbican is a lively area, containing many cafés, pubs and restaurants. There is also a small theatre there and several galleries in the area. The Royal Citadel is close by and was built by Charles II. It is still a military base but it is possible to gain admittance to the entrance gateway and military buildings during the summer months. Plymouth Dome, on the Hoe, is a great reconstruction of Plymouth streets, well worth a visit.
One of Plymouth’s newest attractions is the National Maritime Aquarium an excellent display of more than four thousand sea creatures and fish. It contains Britain’s deepest tank and the world’s largest collection of seashore species.
Also in the city centre, near to Drake’s Circus is the City Museum and Art Gallery. Housed in another building that survived the bombing is an outstanding collection of porcelain, silver and paintings by local artists including Sir Joshua Reynolds. There is also a good archaeological section. A more recent city centre development is the recreational complex known as the Plymouth Pavilions. This contains several restaurants in addition to a pool an ice rink and other facilities.
There are numerous other attractions for visitors and locals alike, both on the Barbican and in the city centre. Even the Fish Market boasts a new visitor centre with crafts and exhibitions.Cornwall. There is also a modern road bridge and a ferry crossing to Torpoint. In addition ferries cross the Channel from Plymouth to both Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain
Crownhill Fort is a few miles to the north of the city centre, but is well worth a visit. The building is one of the largest and best preserved of Lord Palmerston’s coastal defences to repel a French invasion. It includes a labyrinth of underground tunnels, earth ramparts and hidden gun emplacements.
Eggbuckland, once a rural village, is now an integral part of the city of Plymouth. St Edward's Church is worth a visit. There are various other places of interest within easy reach of the city. One of these is Saltram House owned by the National Trust and reputedly the largest house in Devon. It contains many paintings by Reynolds who had a lifelong association with the owners. Another nearby National Trust property is Buckland Abbey which dates from 1278. This was the home of Devon’s most famous son, Sir Francis Drake.